In light of recent events I wanted to put something out there to everyone. I've seen many people outraged that guns have not been banned. I've seen an equal amount of people outraged that people would even suggest such a thing. I've heard angry words spoken about the person who committed this terrible crime, even horrible things about his mother. I've heard so much hate.
What I don't understand is why, when tragedy strikes, we find the nearest person or thing to be angry at and want to make our own opinions the only ones that count. Don't get me wrong I feel hollow, numb and heartbroken over these events. I think of the families who will wake up next week on Christmas without the children they purchased "that special gift" for. I think of these families every night when I have the privilege of tucking my own children in. I also wonder how those same families would feel if they saw all of the hate this has caused. It has happened too often to be called a one time thing. Why are we making the people who commit these crimes so famous?
I had to sit down and discuss this with my seven year old daughter and my ten year old son. My heart broke all over again. My daughter just wants to know how we can bring the children back and my son wanted to know how the man who hurt all of those people would be punished. These are amazingly difficult questions for any parent to answer. I decided to go a different route than many. I explained to my children that I think two of the biggest problems in our society are that media feels the need to sensationalize every story and that people have forgotten how to be kind to one another. I've challenged myself and my children to turn away from news stories about this incident. I refuse to listen to news stories about why everyone thinks this happened and I've decided instead to devote any free time I have to helping those around me. None of us can go back in time and change the past but we can start working TODAY to change the future.
I doesn't take much: smiling at a store clerk, helping a neighbor carry groceries, being a patient driver, etc. I may be the only person doing these things but I have to tell you it's filled me with a sense of purpose because the kindness has been so well received. I would like to share a story of the great things that can happen when people ban together for a common goal.
Friday afternoon I was at my children's school and I noticed that the board holds tags for the children who need to be sponsored for Christmas was still quite full (over 30 requests). I immediately asked the school if the parenting organization could help get the word out that these children still needed help. I have to tell you that a small part of my faith in humanity was restored when, not only was every request filled, but I had almost double the amount of people respond with a complete willingness to help. Many didn't have much to give but wanted to help in any way they could. It got me to thinking, why do we usually only see this kindness during the holidays or right after something happens (like Hurricane Sandy)?
Wouldn't our world be a better place if we all took the time to be kind to one another every day? Can we all ban together and make kindness to each other our common goal? I know it can be hard, I'm not always in the mood to be Miss Sunshine myself but you never know: your smile or small act of kindness can alter someone else's day entirely. What would happen if we all took our faces away from our phones, tablets, computers, etc and started interacting with one another again? I believe we could accomplish great things! Have a very happy holiday season and a very happy New Year filled with kindness!!!!!